Men are Pigs, and the Internet is for Porn? My World Comes Crashing Down.

April 10, 2008

Over the course of the last five months, Sex Like Men was at a standstill. No new posts, no comments, no sign that it would ever live again. And yet, during these same five months, one Friday in February to be precise, 1,220 people read my post on Vanessa Hudgens. That day was an extreme, but pretty much every day that particular post gets me more attention than anything else on this blog (although Marina’s nice plug did shift the numbers recently: thanks!) The great pity is that this post isn’t even a good one! It’s not analytical, certainly not profound, but something more like filler. Of course, most of the people who’ve landed up there don’t mind. They’re weren’t necessarily looking for analysis, so much as pictures of Vanessa Hudgens naked. That brings us to one of the more disturbing features of the blogging world: the ability to track the search terms people were using when they stumbled upon your site:

“vanessa hudgens”; “vanessa hudgens naked”; “vanessa hudgens naked pictures”; “sex fuck girls naked”; “sex children girls”; “vanessa hudgens pics”; “vanessa hudgens sex”; “naked vanessa hudgens”; “men who want to watch young girles have”; “pigtails sex”; “lesbians having sex naked”; “vanessa”;women sex party”; “vanessa hudgens naked pics”; “girls watch men have sex”

I know. The name of this blog is Sex Like Men. There was bound to be some confusion. Which is exactly what concerns me–that, despite my wish not to judge people’s desires, I’m terribly dismayed every time I read these search terms. Is this really what people look for on the Internet? Obviously it is, and the truth is that I just didn’t want to know.

My reaction reminded me of the response to the recent Eliot Spitzer scandal. Across media outlets and private conversations, people were confronting the same conclusion: prostitution? cheating? losing control over one’s urges? This is what men do, and now we know for sure. I heard men joke about this on the radio, that the Spitzer scandal proved once and for all that men really are pigs. And I heard women ask each other nervously if this is just what all men are secretly like.

The notion that men are pigs, of course, relies on the basic assumption that men are full to the bursting with sexual desire. They want sex so badly and so often, they just can’t control their actions. (Caution: justification for rape is just around the corner.) And so, if this is the biological truth of what it means to be a man, isn’t it better that men channel these baser urges into meaningless sex acts (with or without payment) and save their truly loving feelings for the wives waiting at home? Let’s just be practical, right?

I’m skeptical. Saying that men are pigs sure does sound critical, but actually it’s nothing but a blithe excuse. It places all the blame on men’s supposedly insatiable sex drives. But surely men and women with strong, voracious sex drives can find joyful, respectful, maybe even legal outlets for their desires. Don’t sex fiends walk among us, living in a manner that is loving and faithful, in addition to safe and appropriate? I think they do. If men like Spitzer make poor decisions, it’s not because they can’t keep a check on their libidos. It’s because society allows and encourages men to act in ways that selfish, entitled, and disrespectful towards women. You heard me: I’m blaming the patriarchy. Saying that men are all pigs actually just lets everyone off the hook.

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